Hello Kitty is not actually a cat. Source
Okay, you know what? I just reblogged this but I wanna get geeky over it. ‘Cause this is some high-class humor right here, and if you don’t get that you need to be educated so here I am about to do the thing you’re not supposed to do and explain the joke, because I’m just really impressed by this joke’s construction, okay?
So back in Paris in the 1920s, the surrealist movement in art was just starting to take off. The surrealist movement was born from the dadaist movement, which was a response to strict societal ideas of what was “art” and what wasn’t. The dadaists made a lot of works to try and challenge society’s ideas of what art even was in the first place, and this continued on into the more sophisticated abstract works of surrealism.
One such artist, Rene Magritte (also known for his paintings of people with invisible heads, or with fruit for heads), painted a work called "The Treachery of Images,"depicting a pipe, and underneath the words (in french) “This is Not a Pipe.” The words were meant to refer to the fact that the painted pipe was literally not a real physical pipe that a viewer could smoke out of, it was just a painting of a pipe.
The painting was extremely meta, and really challenged the habit of allowing oneself to get so immersed in a work of art that one forgets it is a created representation of life, and not actual life. Understanding that alone takes a good deal of abstract thinking ability. And really appreciating and enjoying it requires a certain amount of one’s own frustration with society’s habit of trying to put limits on the definition of art; and being unable to think outside the box and really see something from all possible perspectives, including the perspective of being completely outside the thing.
Now what’s even more fascinating to me is that modern art movements (and I don’t mean “modern art,” I mean actual contemporary art movements that are being led by our peers) are kinda doing the same thing the dadaist movement was doing, but in reaction to the art that came out of the dadaist movement. Things have circled back around again, and abstract surrealist art is now what society has decided “art” is. And our generation doesn’t accept that. Comics, video games, TV shows and movies, graffiti art, web series, even flash mobs, all of these are our generation’s way of saying, “no, society, you don’t get to define art as strictly as ‘if it doesn’t make sense to me it must be brilliant.’ Art can be simple to understand, art can be accessible to all people, art can make you beg to find out what happens next!” And that’s really interesting to me.